When it comes to protecting boats from the elements, boat covers are one of the things that should be on every boater’s list.
Unfortunately, not everyone understands just how useful they can be or how to use them correctly. A lot of this misunderstanding is anchored in common myths and misconceptions that many boaters have about boat covers.
Myth 1: You should only cover your boat during winter.
Boat covers are popular during winter and the colder months, especially in areas that experience snow and harsh weather during these seasons. Many, however, mistakenly think that these are the only times that boat covers should be used.
On the contrary, boat covers can – and should – be used in other seasons throughout the year. This is especially true if you leave your boat idle outdoors for extended periods, whether it’s out on the street or by the dock. In the same way that boat covers protect boats from snow and the cold during winter, they also protect boats from the sun, heat, or rain during summer and warmer months.
This is important because the sun can be especially damaging to boats. It can damage your boat’s gel coat and paint, for example, wearing it faster than you would normally expect. And while using boat covers during warmer months may seem counterintuitive at first, they do provide additional protection from the sun and extreme weather conditions when used appropriately. The key is to make sure you leave proper ventilation and use breathable boat covers so that heat won’t get trapped inside your boat.
Myth 2: You’re storing your boat inside a storage house, so you don’t need a boat cover.
The advantage of using boat covers outdoors is obvious, but its benefits for indoor areas is too easily ignored. Many think that boats stored inside a shed or warehouse have no need for boat covers. Although this is true in some cases, it’s still likely that boats stored indoors will benefit from having a boat cover installed.
A boat inside a shed may not need protection from outdoor elements, but it does need protection from dust, dirt, and debris. A high-quality cover can prevent these materials from latching onto your boat, keeping your boat cleaner and much in the same condition as what you left it in. Boat covers can also protect your boat from insects, mice, and other pests that may occasionally find their way inside storage units.
Myth 3: You should tie your boat as tightly as you can.
Just like any other tool, boat covers can do more harm than good if you don’t use them correctly. One mistake that many make is tying it up too tightly on their boats. Because the goal of using boat covers is to protect it from outdoor elements, it often involves making sure that nothing outside gets through to the boat inside. But if you overdo it and tie it too tightly, then you’ll likely create more problems than solutions.
A boat cover that’s wound up too tightly (or too small) can present several issues. Lack of air circulation and airflow inside the boat can trap excessive heat inside, which can damage parts of the boat. It can also promote the growth of moulds and fungus inside your boat that can make it a messy – not to mention dangerous – affair when you get back.
The sweet spot is at the point where the boat is adequately protected from the sun and moisture while having enough space to promote air flow and air circulation inside.
Myth 4: All boat covers are the same – as long as it fits your boat.
Most boat covers look the same, which has led many to think that there aren’t any differences in the way they perform. But that isn’t the case at all. In fact, boat covers vary in quality and performance, with some being much more effective (and safe) than others.
A good rule of thumb is to choose a boat cover that’s water repellent yet breathable enough to allow good air flow and circulation. But you’ll also have to consider the type of boat you have, where you’re storing it, the quality of the boat cover material, and your local weather.
Boat covers may seem like just another boating accessory, but they’re there for a reason. Not only do they protect your boat from the elements, but they help keep your boat in top condition. If you want to make the most out of your boat finance and prevent it from going to waste, then get your boat fitted with a good boat cover and use it properly.